Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 23, 2021

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What is Carbon Watch App?

What is the news?

Chandigarh becomes the first state or Union Territory in India to launch Carbon Watch App. It is a mobile application to assess the carbon footprint of an individual.

About Carbon Watch App:

  • The app allows users to assess their carbon footprint. It also suggests ways to reduce Carbon Footprint.
    • Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide) released into the atmosphere by particular human activity.
  • The application can be downloaded through a QR code in Android-supported smart cell phones.

How does the app work? When a person downloads the application, they will need to fill details in 4 parts:

  1. Water category: The person requires providing data about the consumption of water.
  2. Energy category: The person needs to enter the details regarding the electricity units consumed every month at the house.
  3. Waste category: The individual needs to inform about the waste generated by her/him and family.
  4. Transport Category: The individual will provide data about the mode of transport used i.e. – four-wheeler, two-wheeler, or bicycle.

Solutions provided by the Carbon Watch App:

  • The mobile application will automatically calculate the carbon footprint of the individual and suggest ways to reduce it.
    • For instance, if a user says they usually travel in a car, the app would suggest taking public transport or a bicycle.
  • It will also provide information such as the national and world average of the emission.

Source: Indian Express

What are findings of “India Energy Outlook 2021”?

What is the News?

International Energy Agency(IEA) releases the India Energy Outlook 2021 Report.

About the India Energy Outlook 2021

  • This report aims to ensure reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for a growing population. It explores the opportunities and challenges ahead for India.
  • It examines the long-term impacts of the pandemic on India’s energy supply, demand, and investment using the latest available energy data. Furthermore, it also suggests pathways out of the crisis.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Energy Consumer: Currently, India is the fourth-largest global energy consumer behind China, the United States, and the European Union (EU). By 2030, India may overtake the EU as the world’s 3rd biggest energy consumer.
  • Natural Gas Demand: India will become the fastest-growing market for Natural gas with demand more than tripling by 2040. Natural gas import dependency will also increase from 20% in 2010 to almost 50% in 2019. It will grow further to more than 60% in 2040.
  • More Oil import: India is currently the world’s second-biggest net oil importer after China. It currently imports about 76% of its crude oil needs. That reliance on overseas oil is expected to rise to 90% by 2030 and 92% by 2040.
  • Renewable Energy: India’s share in the growth in renewable energy is the second-largest in the world after China.
  • Coal Demand: Over 80% of India’s energy needs are met by three fuels: coal, oil, and solid biomass. Among them, coal currently dominates India’s electricity sector. It accounts for over 70% of overall generation with only about 4% produced through solar energy.
  • Global Emitter: India is currently the 3rd-largest global emitter of CO2, despite low per capita CO2 emissions. By 2040, India’s emissions of carbon dioxide could rise as much as 50%. That would make India the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, trailing only behind China.
  • Urban Population: By 2040, an estimated 270 million people are likely to be added to India’s urban population. However, even with such rapid urbanization, the share of India’s population living in urban areas in 2040 is still expected to be less than 50%.

Click Here to Read about IEA

 Source: IEA

“IIT Council” sets up panels for more autonomy

What is the News?

The Union Education Minister has chaired the 54th meeting of the IIT Council. The council discussed the implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

About IIT Council:

  • Headed by: The IIT Council is headed by the Union Education Minister. It also includes the directors of all IITs and the chairman of each IIT’s Board of Governors.
  • Purpose: IIT Council advises on admission standards, duration of courses, degrees, and other academic distinctions. It also lays down policy regarding cadre, methods of recruitment, and conditions of service of employees.

Key Recommendations by IIT Council:

It has set up 4 committees to look into the issue of greater autonomy for the IITs, as recommended by NEP, 2020. Moreover, these committees will look into the issues like reform of the academic Senate, grooming faculty to head the IITs, and innovative funding mechanisms.

  • Reducing staff strength: It has recommended a reduction in staff strength of IITs, especially non-teaching manpower. It is due to the increasing digitization and outsourcing.
    • Currently, IITs have one faculty member for every 10 students. Whereas, for every 10 faculty, there are 11 staff members.
  • IIT R&D Fair: The council has suggested arranging an Online IIT Research and Development (R&D) fair. It will showcase the quality research work of IITs to the industry.
  • Mobility of Faculty: The IITs should develop an Institute Development Plan to improve the mobility of faculty between institution and industry.
  • One IIT – One Thrust Area approach: IITs were urged to adopt ‘One IIT – One Thrust Area’ approach based on local needs.

Source: The Hindu

Transport Minister launches ‘Go Electric Campaign’

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways launches the “Go Electric” Campaign.

Go Electric Campaign:

  • It is a campaign of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to promote and spread awareness on electric mobility.
  • Objectives:
    • It will boost the confidence of electric vehicle manufacturers.
    • Furthermore, it will spread awareness about the benefits of e-mobility and EV Charging Infrastructure in India.
    • Lastly, the Go Electric Campaign will help in reducing the import dependence of our country in the coming years.
  • Implementation: BEE will provide technical support to the State Designated Agencies(SDAs) for its implementation on a state and national level.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):

  • It is a statutory body. It was established in 2002 under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Power
  • Objective: It assists in developing policies and strategies for reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.

Click Here to Read about Electric Vehicles

Source: PIB

DRDO successfully conducted the launch of “VL-SRSAM”

What is the News?
Defence Research & Development Organisation(DRDO) has conducted the successful launch of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM).


  • The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO for the Indian Navy.
  • Purpose: The missile will be used to neutralize various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
    • Sea skimming: It is a technique of flying as low as possible (always below 50 meters from sea level). This will make it hard to detect the flying object by radar, infrared detection techniques in ships. Further, it will reduce the probability of getting shot down while they approaching a target. Many anti-ship missiles and some fighter or striker aircraft use this technique to avoid getting spotted.

Key Features of the VL-SRSAM:

  • Range: VL-SRSAM has a strike range of about 40 km.
  • It is an all-weather air missile system. It can provide point and area defence against various aerial targets like jets, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • Point defence: defence of a single object or a limited area like an airfield, a harbour etc. It can achieve by short-range missiles
    • Area defence: defence of a specific area or location. It requires medium to long-range missiles.
  • The missile has a canister-based state of art weapon system that can identify, track, engage and destroy the target with a high kill probability.

Source: PIB

“Cyber security” training to Railway staffs.

What is the News?
To provide Cyber security training to staffs Ministry of Railways has joined hands with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).  The training will educate its officials on Internet ethics, cyber hygiene and best practices in the use of IT equipment, including mobile phones.

This is a part of C-DAC’s National Cyber Security Strategy. The training was decided based on the recent cyberattacks across the railway network during the ongoing pandemic.

Use of IT infrastructure in Railways:

  • The Indian Railways uses IT infrastructure for the Passenger Reservation System (PRS).  PRS is the nationwide online passenger reservation and ticketing system for railways.
  • E-payment is also provided as part of the Freight Operations Information System(FOIS).

 Why cyber security training is needed?

  • The PRS includes passengers identities, proof of address, passenger mobile number and net banking/card payment details. So any cyber breach will endanger the sensitive data of the passengers.
  • Indian Railways has seen a number of cyber breaches in various IT applications of railways. For example, illegal applications were used to book tickets, bypassing the railway firewall.
  • These incidents occurred due to improper handling of the IT assets by the personnel.
  • Further, these breaches increased after the lockdown due to an increase in electronic modes of communication in official working. So cyber security training is much needed.
  • Hence, it was necessary that all railway officials took responsibility and follow adequate procedures when using IT infrastructure. This is important for ensuring confidentiality, privacy in dealing with official information.

Source: The Hindu

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